The Consequences of Our Words

You know that moment where the words come out of your mouth before your edit button has had a chance to engage; no turning back or erasing the consequences of your actions. Once those words are out there you can never get them back, sort of like never being able to get the toothpaste back into the toothpaste tube. What’s done is done.

The other side of that scenario is when you are the recipient of those unedited words. How do you handle them, how do you respond? Depending upon the relationship you have with the person speaking those words you may or may not be able to put them into a manageable context. Sometimes you can chalk it up to someone just having a brain fart. Sometimes you can give them a break and let go of the pain their words might cause. And then there are the words that will haunt your soul, no matter the reasons for them being uttered.

Whether the relationship is professional or personal, words can never be erased. They float out there beyond time and space. They invade our minds and touch us with power that no other element of relationships has the ability to do. Physical scars heal very differently than the scars left from words. Somehow the words we hear begin playing back again and again in our heads like never-ending tape recordings, the power to silence them takes practice, effort and energy. We know it is not reality and yet those tapes keep playing as if to remind us that somewhere in our past the words were true. It takes effort to replace the bad words with good ones.

It may be hard and it may take time, but it is possible to replace the tapes in our heads with words we really do want to hear. It means we have to recognize and replace, then repeat and repeat and repeat until these become the words, the tapes that play in our head. So it’s time to take back the words in our heads and make them the ones we really want to hear. Which also means we need to only say words that others will want to hear in their own heads. Send and receive the words want otherwise suffer the consequences of our words.

1 Comment

  1. So true. I was told by way of a third party, “You’re a pain in the ass, but I love you anyway.” How gracious and self-redeeming of that person to deign to even like me considering how annoying and unloveable I must be. I’ll never say it was funny or insincere.

    Like

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